Mixed Berry and Custard Tart

The trick to this tart is to make the crust beforehand–it needs to cool before you glaze it, chill it, and then fill it. But it’s all worth it. The crust really tastes like shortbread–my mom liked it so much she suggested next time just rolling out the dough, using cookie cutters and baking shortbread cookies … an idea that I will probably pursue.

Another thing about this tart: You cook the pudding, but the berries are raw in the original recipe. I didn’t really like that idea, so after filling the crust I baked the tart at 350 degrees for half an hour to soften and heat the berries. It worked well, but I’m sure either way–raw or heated–the tart is tasty.

You can use any kind of berry you want in this recipe. Since it’s early in the season, I used only strawberries and blueberries, but you’re encouraged to use at least three types. I’m sure raspberries and blackberries would be super yummy, too.

This recipe comes from Cybele Pascal’s The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook.

Shortbread Tart Crust

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix

  • (for 3 cups; be sure to measure out 1 1/2 cups:) 2 cups brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/8 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening

2 tablespoons orange juice

Directions

1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour mix, confectioners’ sugar, xanthan gum and salt.

2. Add the shotening in tablespoon-sized pieces, and mix with a knife until you have a coarse meal. (If you have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, use that instead)

3. Add the orange juice, and miss until the dough begins to ball in the center.

4. Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper, form into a ball, top with another sheet of parchment paper, flatten into a disk, and roll out into a circle about 1/4 inch thick and 1 inch wider than your tart pan.

5. Lightly grease a 9 1/2-inch tart pan. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper, flip the crust into the pan, and press down with the palm of your hand. Gently peel off the other sheet of paper, and finish pressing the dough into the pan, patching the sides as necessary. Prick the crust 8 times with a fork.

6. Preheat oven to 35o degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 20 minutes, until set and very lightly golden. Let cool completely before filling.

Now, on to the main event…

Mixed Berry Tart

Ingredients

1 Shortbread Tart Crust, prebaked and cooled

1/4 cup seedless jelly or jam (ex: red currant jelly, seedless balckberry or raspberry preserves, apricot preserves)

3 cups assorted berries (at least three types; if using strawberries, halve or quarter them)

Pastry Custard Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk or creamer (or rice milk, for a lighter custard)

2 tablespoons dark Karo syrup (or, if corn-free like me, use 1 tablespoon molasses and 1 1/2 tablespoons minute tapioca)

2 tablespoons tapioca starch

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons rice milk

Directions

1. Prepare the Shortbread Tart Crust

2. Warm the jelly in the microwave. Using a pastry brush or knife, spread the jelly over the bottom of the crust. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set.

3. To make the pastry custard, whisk together 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and the tapioca starch in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla.

4. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup of the coconut milk, molasses and minute tapioca in a heavy sauce pan. Warm over medium-high heat, whisking until it starts to simmer around the edges.

5. Add the egg replacer and tapioca starch mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium-heat, whisking continuously. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, cook for 1 minute, stirring; it will thicken quickly. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

6. Remove the crust from the fridge. Fill the shell with the custard mixture. Arrange the berries in pretty concentric circles or scatter in a more free-form fashion, being sure to top the custard completely with fruit. If desired, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes to warm the berries.

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Categories: Dessert

Author:rsedlak1

Became a voracious, unapologetic bookworm in 4th grade after reading the first three Harry Potter books. Have a thing for dystopias, young adult novels, classic literature and funny memoirs (re: Mindy Kaling / Tina Fey). English and journalism geek, media and pop culture critic, food writer and blogger, editor of an entertainment magazine. Hobbies include: my Netflix account, cooking, gardening, music, art and hiking.

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